7 ways to be more mindful this May May 19 2015, 0 Comments
If mindfulness wasn’t already enough of a buzzword, it has hit celebrity status this month with the campaign Mindful in May. Are you participating? I have been, although I have to admit my inbox is currently getting a thrashing and as we're about to enter Day 20 of the challenge, I'm having trouble keeping up. So what is the solution?
I’m trying not to beat myself up for not keeping up every single day and have been introducing mindfulness into my daily life in other ways as much as possible. I hope you can do the same and see mindfulness become part of your routine well after the month of May is over. Here we go, try these out!
1. Mindful shower.
Spend your time in the shower really tuning into the touch of the water cascading down your skin, the temperature of the water, the cool air passing over your wet body as you step out, the touch of the towel, the scent of your body wash or shampoo, the sound of the traffic outside or the sensation of your breath rising and falling.
2. Mindful meal.
Sit down and turn off the TV, remove any other distractions and this includes ensuring your mobile phone is well out of reach! Slowly eat your meal focusing on the task and not allowing your mind to move onto the next thought. Have gratitude for the food on your plate that is about to nourish you. Slowly and mindfully with each mouthful, tune into the taste, the texture, the temperature. How does it feel to have the food travel down into your stomach? How do you feel after each mouthful?
3. Transport time out.
This is probably my favourite place to practise mindfulness. Sound strange? In my busy life, being on the tram on the way to my day job is one place I have a few minutes to myself where I’m not on my computer or running errands. I take the time during the 30-45 minute commute to look around, observe the other commuters, tune into any smells and the temperature on the tram. I'm mindful of where I sit and if there is a chair in the sun, I mindfully choose that seat so I can bask in the sunlight. It gets me in the mood to start my day on a positive note. I enjoy the view of the parks and shops as we pass by. Sometimes I close my eyes and listen to a mini meditation or beautiful music by Jai-Jagdeesh.
4. Moving meditation.
Do you have trouble sitting still or are new to mindfulness or meditation? Are you a more masculine energy? Try a moving meditation, whether this be yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong or simply going for a mindful walk in nature where you really stop and pay attention to the beauty around you. It might be noticing the wildlife, really feeling the cold hit your face on a fresh winter day or the sun warming your whole body as you walk along the beach. Breathe deeply and soak up the wonder that is life.
5. People watch.
I travelled the world in my late 20s and early 30s and in the end I had just as much fun people watching as visiting the traditional buildings and iconic sights. Find a special place, it might be a park or a café and watch the world go by. Observe people interacting and try not to judge or analyse, just watch your thoughts enter and pass on through. Take a journal to record your observations or write a list of what you're grateful for.
6. Body scan.
Do a mini body scan meditation to really tune into your body and how it is feeling. Close your eyes, it doesn’t matter if you're lying down or sitting. Imagine a photocopier or a full body scanner moving over your body. Notice any tension or sore spots as you scan. Breathing in, focus your attention on that body part and on the out breath let the tension leave your body. Repeat as many times as you need and really feel the tension leaving your body. Feel with each out breath your body becoming more and more relaxed.
7. Morning routine.
Avoid reaching for your phone first thing in the morning! Instead blink open your eyes and tune in to your breath, the heat of your body, the cold touching your face, any tightness needing a stretch and the sounds outside your window. Sometimes I hear birds chirping but on Tuesdays I hear the garbage truck! Set an intention for the day or say a positive affirmation.
Is there something you do to add more mindfulness into your day or perhaps one of the above suggestions appeals to you?
Try some of these simple techniques and let me know how you go!
Mindfulness is a technique I use with my coaching clients to help them stay in the present moment and help alleviate anxiety and overwhelm. If you're experiencing feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, stress or feeling stuck, get in touch today to organise a complimentary 30 minute discovery session by emailing email@example.com
Or perhaps you're interested in learning more about the benefits of mindfulness and meditation in a group setting? Come along to one of my guided meditations every Wednesday evening at The Habitat Space, 328 Waverley Rd, Malvern East from 7.45-8.45pm. You can book here.